BIRMINGHAM, Al – A local man went into a Birmingham Applebee’s on Tuesday only to be turned away by the manager for being overweight.
Donyell Starks, 34, went to the Applebee’s for his midafternoon meal. “It was about 3 o’clock,” said Starks, “so I hadn’t eaten in like, a whole hour.” Starks told reporters that he usually eats one or two meals between second-lunch, the second part of his daily two-lunch meal plan, and dinner. “I’ve gone to lots of restaurants, and I’ve even been to this one before with no problems,” said Starks.
The restaurant manager, Dennis Thompson, had just assumed duties last week. “I moved here from Tuscaloosa, where I managed a smaller but highly successful Applebee’s,” Thompson said. Thompson stated he had moved to Birmingham to manage the larger restaurant, helping his career “move in the right direction.”
“When that guy walked in I was like ‘No way, get him out of here,'” said Thompson in regards to Starks entering the restaurant. “I mean, I’m all about serving anybody, and I’ve served some pretty fat people in my day, but this was just damn ridiculous.”
Starks, who claims to “only weigh” 650 pounds, has been said to weigh over 800 pounds, according to neighbors. Charles Swifton, who lives nearby to Starks and was at the Applebee’s at the time, told reporters, “This guy can barely get out of his house. It’s just said, really. Did you know they had to put a special seat in his car just so he could get into it?”
Shortly after Starks arrived at the Applebee’s, Thompson approached him and told him he’d have to leave because he was ‘too fat’. “I just approached him and told him he’d have to leave because he was too fat,” elaborated Thompson. “He asked me what I was talking about, and I laughed a little. Then he got really angry and irrational. I mean, seriously, ‘What are you talking about?’ – Come the fuck on, tubby.”
“I didn’t understand what he was talking about,” Starks commented. “Sure I’m a little overweight, but it’s no problem. And since when can you just not serve somebody because of how they look?” continued Starks. “Last time I checked, that’s discrimination, pal.”
Thompson told Starks he was a fire hazard. “I guess he thought I was joking at first,” said Starks, “because he turned all red, like a little red tomato. Actually, a big red tomato; hey, we could call him ‘Big Red’ – You know, like the chewing gum?” Thompson laughed. “But seriously,” he added, “he was ‘occupying’ our aisle to say the least, and that actually is against the fire code. Plus, do you really think he needed another meal?”
“I’ve never been so embarrassed,” said Starks, who told correspondents that Thompson threatened to call the fire department. “He said, ‘I’ll call the fire marshal and he’ll kick your ass out of here, with a damn crane, if he has to.’ I just decided to be the bigger man and leave.”
“Well, he’s got the bigger man part down, that’s for sure,” commented Thompson. “I’m just glad he left without eating someone’s baby.”
Starks allegedly moved to the area seeking a new life after changing his name and destroying all of his personal contacts in small town Iowa, where he worked as a shipping supervisor for a mid-level market motorcycle supply warehouse. He drives a red Mustang V6 that tilts slightly to the driver’s side and has a special “rhino cage” designed driver’s seat that allows his superfluous frame to fit in the vehicle. No one has ever loved him.